Stay off the road if you’ve got a cold, experts say

While discount car insurance experts have long cautioned on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an increasing number of car insurance companies have issued warnings to motorists thinking of getting behind the wheel while battling a flu or nasty cold.

The AA recently polled 20,000 members, discovering that one out of every five admitted to driving even though they were unfit from illness.  The motor car insurance provider and motoring organisation says that driving while battling a cold or flu can be dangerous, as sick motorists can have reduced reaction times and an impaired ability to concentrate.

A simple and seemingly innocuous sneeze can become incredibly dangerous, especially if traveling at a high rate of speed – if you’re traveling at 70 mph, the AA says, you’ll travel around 70 yards without the ability to react to road conditions, and if you have a sneezing fit that lasts longer than just one, this could prove fatal.  Sneezing has been cited as the cause of many road traffic accidents, such as the case of a lorry driver who received a four year prison sentence after being found guilty of causing death through dangerous driving.

Sneezing isn’t the only thing you need to worry about if you’re behind the wheel whilst sick.  A runny nose or a headache can have a distracting affect, impairing your ability to drive, and cold remedies are notorious for their intoxicating effects.

Experts say it’s just simply safer to stay home until you recover.  However, in the current economic climate where few of us can afford to take a day off from work when we get sick, too many motorists feel that they simply don’t have a choice.

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